GSO Test

English Language A Level

Awarding Body


Assessment Structure

80% examination (at the end of the course)
20% NEA

Minimum entry requirement

  • NBP16C level 3 entry requirements
  • GCSE (5) in English language
  • GCSE (4) in English Literature

Why should I study this course?

Above all, because we hope you enjoy it! Our language is at the heart of so much of what we do: talking, thinking, reading and writing. A close study and analysis of language will encourage you to think deeply about yourself, about relationships with others, and about the way the world around you is constructed through spoken and written texts. Sharing thoughts and ideas with others and expressing yourself coherently are important processes.

What will I learn?

Paper 1: Language, the individual and society (40% of A level):this area of study introduces you to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. It also introduces you to the study of children’s language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.

Paper 2: Language varieties (40% of A level): You will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. You will explore processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires you to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Non exam assessment: Language in action – Language investigation and original writing (20% of A level): the aim of this area of study is to allow you to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon your own writing expertise. Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, based on individual interest.

How will I learn?

Teaching methods will vary according to the activity and the type of text you are studying. There will be whole group discussions, small group work, individual research projects and tutorials. Students will have the opportunity to take part in enrichment sessions.

What can I do with my qualification?

English language is a highly regarded A level because it shows that you can communicate clearly and have an understanding of the importance and power of language. In addition you will have the ability to analyse a wide range of texts in details. This A level is recognised and valued by higher education institutions and by employers in areas such as journalism, law, retailing, banking, marketing, advertising, publishing and industry.

What do students say?

“The A level course is entirely different to GCSE and there is little overlap. However, it is enjoyable and teaches lots of different applicable skills.”  

“It develops your writing and analytical skills and makes you more perceptive”